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Jan. 3, 2003

South Carolina senior Marius Petravicius, who injured his left knee last night in the win over The Citadel, had an examination and MRI today by team doctors. They determined he has a partial tear of his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Surgery is not indicated at this time. He had very little swelling and no cartilage damage.

Petravicius will undergo strenuous rehabilitation over the next two weeks, when doctors will re-exam him and determine the next course of action. There is no set date for his return – the return will be based on the evaluation in two weeks. The rehab will include strengthening of the ligament and muscles around the knee.

There is no promise he will be able to practice in two weeks, but USC Head Coach Dave Odom believed given what could be the severity of knee injuries, this was good news. “Marius is such a hard worker and a tough kid, so if he can come back, he will. While the injury is serious, we look at it as good news,” said Odom. “It’s reason to be thankful and our team will continue to be very positive. We need to put our mind on improving with each game, attacking the game.”

Petravicius was injured in the first half of The Citadel game (Jan. 2), when he came down wrong on his left knee, attempting a defensive rebound.


* This season Petravicius was averaging 5.6 ppg and 3.4 rpg. His best game was against South Carolina State when he scored 15 PT, 9 REB, 5-7 FG, 5-5 FT, 1 BS, 30 MIN.

*He made 15 of 16 FT to rank 1st on the team.

* He has started 89 of 106 career games, playing in game No. 100 vs. Temple and could break the USC career games played record in early March.

* Has 38 career double-figure PT games and 5 career double-figure REB games

* Has 5 career double-doubles

*Has 2 career games of 20 PT or more

*Started every game as a freshman (32), becoming the second freshman at USC since Alex English (1973) to start every game

SOUTH CAROLINA’S KITCHEN CLEARED TO PRACTICE IN LIMITED BASIS South Carolina senior Tony Kitchings, out since Nov. 29 with a broken hand, has officially been cleared by doctors to begin practice on a limited basis. Kitchings will be allowed to have some contact in practice on Saturday and after evaluation by the coaches and team doctor on Sunday, he could be completely cleared. If so, he would begin full practice on Monday, but this is to be determined.